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Methodology And Approaches Of Comparative Religion.

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0



A number of methods have been discovered useful in the course or study of comparative religion. The understanding of those methods and approaches are important to the presentation of issues of the diverse religious practices around the world. For example, scholars are of the opinion that in doing Comparative Study of Religions, the following methods should be applied. These are:

1. Analysis that is, analytical method which implies comparative analysis. By implication, religious themes such as

a. God or the ultimate.
b. Human condition.
c. Salvation and eternity.
d. Nature of evil.

e. Others or et cetera are analyzed. In which case teachings about God or the ultimate and other related themes in religion are made subject of analysis among the various religions. This is done with the intension to approach religious matter analytically. This is the ability to scholastically approach teachings about God and other related themes from the different views as been held in different religious quarters.

2. Similarity, Survey method has also been applied in the attempt of doing Comparative Religion. This method requires descriptive approach that requires external data about the various religions. It involves the use of instrumentation with which to generate comprehensive information from the various religions. Some of these instruments or instrumentations are:

a. Questionnaire.
b. Check list.
c. Interview.
d. Observations.

The above instruments are used to generate information about the stand of different religions beliefs on God or the Ultimate, human condition, salvation and eternity, nature of evil, others etc.

3. Furthermore, comparison as a method of Comparative Religion suggests the idea of pairing two or more religions in order to see their differences and similarities. This is done with the intention to establish the position of each and how they overlap. Again, the aspect of pairing these religions is on either of the followings. God or the Ultimate, human condition, salvation and eternity, nature of evil, others etc.

 By implication, the major concern of pairing these religious beliefs is to be able to detect a fundamental falsehood or error arising from or existing among these religions groups. It is against this background the comparison as a method have been proved very useful in putting the different religious beliefs in their proper perspective.

4. In another related development, the method of defining aspects of all world’s religions is significant because through this method each religion can easily be described in terms of their nature or characteristics, ideology, spirituality and level of interactions. It raised the following probing questions: Who are these people? What do they believe? Where are they coming from? Where are they going to? It is the above probing questions that provide a definite description of the religion in question. Are they mystical, superstitious, practicing metaphysic, faith believers etc. Do their spiritual activities have mystical or ritualistic inference?

Religious interaction is seen as both a process and an outcome which is not better or worse in any particular culture. It depends on the approach and adoption that given culture. Thus, the object of comparative religion is to pursue religious tolerance and freedom.

However, this cannot be built on ignorance but on the ground of or understanding of the commonalities and differences of religion. Our understanding of our common faith and the difference in other people’s faith require intelligible interaction. This is because your right stops where the other’s begins. Similarly, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. The above view underscores the idea of mutual respect for the different and varied religions of the society; more essentially that most government of the world allow for religious freedom. It is on this note, what you prefer as a system of worship should not be used as a measure of how good or bad the religious practice of others are rather a unit should be drawn between commonalities and differences of religion.



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